October 21st, 2023 marks the 110th anniversary of the Fiat Lux News. Since 1913, the Alfred student newspaper has changed significantly. New technologies and stories that students a hundred years ago would never have been able to guess would be readily accessible are some of the more obvious purview in regard to change. However, a small change is what brought the Fiat Lux into Alfred’s zeitgeist over a century ago, and that is: The Alfred Weekly.
“Our Paper has not yet been definitely named. We are issuing the first number under the title “The Alfred Weekly.” With this issue we open a contest, open to all students and alumni of Alfred University, to secure a name. For the best name submitted, we offer a year’s subscription to this paper, and the honor of naming Alfred University’s first newspaper. Kindly submit all names to the editors by Saturday evening, Oct. 25. at 7 o’clock,” was what was published in the first issue.
Back in 1913, the price of an annual subscription to the Fiat Lux was $1.50. Adjusting for inflation, that would be approximately $46.32 today. For several years now, Fiat Lux News has supported access to the free press, but it’s important to remember where that ability to spread free newspapers came from. If it wasn’t for the financial dedication of students in 1913 and onward, there would likely be no substantial anniversary to celebrate.
While financing is a core aspect to keeping the Fiat Lux alive, it’s just a small piece of the puzzle. The many writers, editors, photographers, and artists who took it upon themselves to tell Alfred’s stories deserve their own applause. Throughout two pandemics, the constant changing of leadership within the club, and the navigating of campus politics, they still remain. Looking back at the volumes stored on AURA, it’s incredible to see how the various members of Fiat Lux News have evolved the paper into what it is today.
“It is a new feature in Alfred life, but we sincerely believe that the advent of this paper is a mark of progress, a step in the right direction,” reads the first issue.
Over the years, engagement and interest in the Fiat Lux (and news in general) has fallen. We have found ourselves wanting for submissions, advertisements, and general word-of-mouth spreading of the services we have to offer. However, this “step in the right direction” is not planning on going away any time soon. The Fiat Lux News is now a passion project more than a stable organization. Until there is a wide-spread renaissance in regards to interacting with news, student clubs, and campus politics, it will remain a modest venture.
As the first issue says, “Our beginning, like that of all great things, is necessarily modest. But we have more to offer. If this paper is supported, financially and otherwise as it should be, it will certainly in the near future, be enlarged and its scope be extended. Students, alumni and friends, we want your support!”
The Fiat Lux is still modest, in the grander scheme of other collegiate newspapers. We still desire that support, financial and otherwise. However, despite it all, even if just one person continues to read the work we’ve created, that will be enough.